Published in January of 1958 in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement and based on the events of the 1955 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.
The comic was commissioned by the pacifist organization
Fellowship of Reconciliation
with the permission of
Martin Luther King Jr
himself and even saw some edits by the famous Civil Rights leader. The actual creators of the comic are unknown and the artist is said to be a blacklisted comic artist of the time. The comics purpose was to spread the message of nonviolence and to get the word out of the boycott.
The people of Montgomery Al are faced with the unjust laws of segregation and decide to stand up for their rights. Organizing and educating their neighbors was the key to their success and the story of their victory is told in the pages of a comic created to further educated people on the Montgomery Method of nonviolent protest.
Beginning with the refusal of Rosa Parks, who had been active in the civil rights movement, to give up her seat in the front of the bus. The people of Montgomery had enough and planned a boycott of the bus service. The Boycott lasted 382 days.
"People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in."
With the guidance of Martin Luther King and the leaders of the community, the people of Montgomery remained nonviolent even when confronted by the police, who would ticket and harass the people as they found other ways of getting to work.
During the days of the boycott , King had been arrested, harassed by police, and his home bombed. Even after all this violence King and the people maintained a nonviolent stance. On December 21, 1956 the supreme court of the United States had declared that the laws requiring segregation on buses were unconstitutional! Negroes and whites were to ride together as equals.
Even after the laws were passed the people of Montgomery remained vigilant and practiced their mantra of nonviolence anticipating resistance from their white neighbors. More houses were bombed and the Klu Klux Klan had emerged to threaten the people by burning crosses. The violence continued until even the whites of Montgomery had enough!
How a nation won its freedom by the Montgomery Method!
Martin Luther King had adopted the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and studied the history of the events surrounding him. King educated his ministry about Gandhi and his struggle against the British in India. Gandhi's story showed them what kind of sacrifice had to be made in order to achieve their goals of freedom and equality.
The basic tenets of the Montgomery Method were; to treat your enemy as a brother even when they do cruel things to you; acting as a brother to your enemy so he will see you as a human being; finding a just cause to be apart of; uniting with others who have similar goals; and to have no fear of consequences for just actions.
Enlarged pages of The Montgomery Story are on display in the
exhibit: Civil Rights Superheroes
Toonseum in Pittsburgh